The efficacy of four different commercial live vaccines (vaccines A, B, C, and D) against the infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) was assessed in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens. SPF chickens were vaccinated intraocularly at 6 wk old with ILTV live vaccines and were challenged intratracheally with the N91B01 strain of virulent Korean ILTV 2 wk after vaccination. The immunity against ILTV live vaccines was assessed by the incidence of latent infection by the challenge virus in the chickens' tracheas and trigeminal ganglia, the reisolation rate of the challenge virus, and the clinical signs in the chickens challenged with the N91B01 strain of ILTV. The latent infection in chickens was assessed by nested polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Our data showed that the clinical signs and challenge virus isolation were negative in all chickens receiving four different commercial ILTV live vaccines. The viral DNA of the vaccine strain, but not that of the challenge virus, was detected in chickens vaccinated with vaccine A by nested PCR-RFLP. The viral DNAs of both the vaccine and challenge strains were detected from chickens vaccinated with vaccines B, C, and D. This study showed that only vaccine A can protect chickens from latent infection with the field virulent ILTV. We speculate that the efficacy of infectious laryngotracheitis live vaccines to protect chickens from latent infection with virulent ILTVs can be assessed by nested PCR-RFLP analysis.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2